Ritsu had been crying for hours. He’d gotten his diaper changed, refused to eat at first, and only a short time ago quieted down and started eating. Arataka felt some measure of relief for the first time since the sun set, watching his younger infant son finally quiet and eating. He looked down at Shigeo, who was still asleep under his blanket - it was the third time he’d shifted to a wolf pup body instead of a human baby. He’d tossed and attempted to turn, fussing and breathing heavily. It’s not that Arataka never noticed - he’d been watching Shigeo’s health decline all day, but he hadn’t yet hit the point of needing emergency care–
His thoughts were interrupted abruptly by a sudden choking sound coming from Ritsu, and damp warm milk spilling - he glanced down, only to see that Ritsu had turned into a pup himself, chewing a hole in yet another bottle cap. Arataka hastily set the bottle down and turned Ritsu over, panic crawling in his chest even as he kept his composure, patting the infant on the back until the coughing led to a large belch. The spit-up missed the rag he had put on his shoulder entirely, instead going all over his arm, but finally Ritsu seemed to stop coughing and settled. Arataka switched him to the other shoulder, rubbing his back for a couple more mild burps until Ritsu passed out, exhausted from the little hectic accident and from fussing for hours beforehand.
Arataka laid Ritsu down, waiting only a moment to make sure his son didn’t wake up before taking off his puked-on shirt, using it to wipe up what had hit the floor and going to the washing machine, tossing it in. He replaced it with his pajama shirt, laying down on the floor next to his sleeping kids instead of trying to take them to the mattress, which might wake them. The floor wasn’t that uncomfortable, he’d definitely been this exhausted and slept on it just fine. Just a bit of shut-eye would give him the energy to handle these kids tomorrow.
Instead, Arataka found that he couldn’t close his eyes, carefully watching Shigeo - his very quiet and docile son - occasionally struggling to breathe. Even when Shigeo finally settled his breathing and stopped fussing, Arataka’s eyes stayed open, watching every rise and fall of his chest until the sun rose.